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Senator THURMOND. With reference to a change in a speech for delivery on August 29, 1961, the State Department submitted the following reason:
At the time this speech was made, a policy decision had not yet been made as to whether Cuba should be treate as a Com ist government, although it was considered proper to refer to it as a Communist-line government. It was not until December 1961, that Castro openly stated he was a Marxist-Leninist and was leading Cuba into communism.
Now, I was under the impression that our State Department and our policy planners had at least some intelligence facilities to gather and evaluate information. This was 5 months after the Cuban invasion which we admittedly planned and supported and which was obviously designed for the overthrow of the Castro government.
Mr. Secretary, are we to believe that our policymakers did not know at the time of the Cuban invasion that Castro's government was communist rather than just Communist line, and that it was not until December 1961, when Castro, himself, boasted of being a Communist, that our policymakers realized that he was one and that the his government was a Communist government?
Mr. BALL. It is perfectly clear that Cuba was getting support from the Communist bloc. It was perfectly clear that the Cuban Government was adopting more and more of the policies of the Communist bloc. It was perfectly clear that the institutional arrangements which were being set up in Havana—for the control of the government, for the nationalization of property, and for the setting up of collective farms—all of these things had all the indicia of the traditional Communist setup.
Whether it is called a “Communist” or “Communist line,” I think, simply reflects the fact that there had not been an overt acknowledgment by Castro until December that he was a Communist and that he was, in effect, permanently alining himself with the bloc.
This, again, is a matter of our relations with the other Latin American governments.
During this period we were working with those governments through the Organiaztion of American States. We were making available to them information with regard to the Communist activities in Havana and so on.
Now, to assure the effectiveness of the efforts that we were making to get the American system to recognize the dangers of communism in Cuba and of the encroachment of the Communist system in the Western Hemisphere, we wanted to be very careful to be quite precise in the way these things were formulated. Nothing could serve Castro's purposes more than for us to have accused him of things which he might be able to counter.
If we accused him of being a Communist government, he could offer evidence to the other American states through his own channels that this was an American reflection of trying to call everyone Communists, and that while he was related to communism, he was not fully committed to it. This tended to weaken our argument rather than to strengthen it.
Once he was out in the open on this, and there was no possible doubt, then it was perfectly clear to all concerned, and we had no such inhibitions.
But this, again, relates to our ability to be able to achieve the kind of policies which are most effective.
What we are concerned with here is, after all, the pragmatic test of what works to the U.S. interest and what does not. The fact that we were, in the course of time, able to bring about a resolution which, in effect, outlawed the Cuban Government as a pariah in the proceedings at Punta del Este testifies, I think, to some extent, to the restraint that we showed during this whole period while we were working with these Latin American States in bringing home to them what the real evidence would demonstrate.
TERMS OF REFERENCE TO COMMUNISM BEFORE LATIN AMERICAN AUDIENCES
Senator THURMOND. In the paragraph in that speech—this speech, incidentally, was by Lt. Gen. Joseph F. Carroll, Speech 176, who is now the Chief of Intelligence in the Defense Department—he was speaking to the Brazilian War College at Rio de Janeiro on August 29, 1961.
Now, here is a military officer from the United States speaking to uniformed people, the Brazilian War College, on August 29, 1961, and he proposed to say:
For the Communists such illegal action poses no moral problem. To betray any trust, to betray even the nation of his birth is justifiable if it advances the cause of world revolution and international communism.
The words "international communism” were deleted, and the words “the Soviet Union" inserted.
Do you not think it was well for General Carroll to tell these people in South America, and to use the words "international communism, because that is what it is?
Mr. Ball. This is a question of trying to find the most effective means of enlightening and persuading these people.
Senator THURMOND. Well, that is what he is trying to do. He is trying to enlighten them, and when he used the words that would enlighten them, “international communism,” it was stricken.
Mr. BALL. The thrust of American policy with regard to the American States has been to presuade them that what they see in international communism, as it comes into the Western Hemisphere, is an alien invasion, and to identify it, so far as possible, with the Soviet Union and Red China in order to make it clear that when they are inviting international communism into Latin America, they are inviting an alien influence, a foreign influence.
Senator THURMOND. Then he proposed to say: It is a fact borne out repeatedly in the almost daily apprehension of Communist agents throughout the free world, agents whose sole purpose in life is to subvert and destroy our basic freedoms, and thereby advance the cause of world communism.
“World communism” again was stricken.
Again, the words "Soviet Union” were substituted. Senator THURMOND. That is right. Mr. Ball. Yes. Well thisSenator THURMOND. What he was trying to do was to show, and what he is trying to tell these people, he uses the words “world revolution" and "international communism.” He is trying to let them know as to an international conspiracy, and in both cases where he used “world communism” it was stricken.
Do you not think that it would be helpful to those officers attending the Brazilian War College for a man like General Carroll, well versed in intelligence and now the Chief of Intelligence in the Defense Department, to be able to make those statements?
Mr. BALL. Well, what was suggested was that he say that such action was advancing the cause of the Soviet Union.
Now, from the point of view of Latin American countries, to identify that a Communist, in doing these things, is trying to strengthen and advance the position and dominance of a foreign state and an alien influence, is from the point of view of effectivness in the persuasion of our Latin American friends, regarded as the better presentation.
This is simply a question of how you undertake this persuasion. It does not indicate any reason for avoiding "international communism” except it was felt this was the more effective means of persuasion.
Senator THURMOND. Well, he was letting them know, though, using the term "international communism,” which would cover the situation in South America and other places all over the world, that communism is an international conspiracy; that it is a world conspiracy. I guess you know that Brazil has a large population of Russian refugees
from communism who understand the conspiracy? Mr. BALL. They also understand the meaning of the "Soviet Union" and the "Soviet Government." It was regarded as a more effective means of persuasion to suggest that this action was preparing the way for a time when the directions could be given from Moscow.
TIME FACTOR IN RECOGNITION OF CUBAN GOVERNMENT AS COMMUNIST
Senator THURMOND. Now, this speech was proposed to be made, or was made, August 29, 1961.
When did Castro take over Cuba, 1959 ?
Mr. BALL. In January of 1960, or December of 1959, I have forgotten.
Senator THURMOND. Before January 1960.
Senator THURMOND. And the State Department puts out this comment:
At the time this speech was made that is, August 29, 1961– a policy decision had not yet been made as to whether Cuba should be treated as a Communist government, although it was considered proper to refer to it as a Communist-line government.
Mr. BALL. Sure.
Senator THURMOND (continuing): It was not until December 1961, that Castro openly stated that he was a Marxist-Leninist and was leading Cuba into communism.
Mr. Secretary, did not your intelligence show, in fact, even before Cuba was taken over, did not two Ambassadors warn the State Department about Castro and his affinity for communism?
Mr. Ball. This is a question as to what is the most effective way to advance the U.S. national interest
Senator THURMOND. Did not two U.S. Ambassadors warn the State Department about Castro and his communism, and they did not heed his warning, did they?
Mr. BALL. You are asking me now to defend a situation which occurred a long time ago, before this administration was in office, and I think
Senator THURMOND. That is true. We are not interested in what administration is in office. We are interested in the policies of this Government that exist now and have existed for a number of years.
Mr. BALL. Let me say this:
That if you had the choice of saying something which was perfectly true but which was likely to be unpersuasive in achieving the national purpose, and you could say something else which was also perfectly true but which would be more effective, then I think that naturally you follow the latter course.
Now, this speech was made in Brazil, and this was carrying out the main thrust of American policy which has been to try to isolate Cuba from the American system, the system of American states, and to persuade the American states that the Cuban Government represents an alien influence which will be very harmful to them and is bent on destroying them.
Now, to identify this with the Soviet Union seemed to be the most useful way to carry this point. To have called Cuba Communist, at a time when among the American states the answer would have been, "Well, you have no evidence, no final evidence, that Cuba is Communist; it is a Communist-line Government, but is not Communist," is poor advocacy. From the point of view of the American interest it would not have been as effective as the better presentation.
Senator THURMOND. Did we have to wait until Castro said he was a Communist to know he was a Communist, Mr. Secretary? Did you not and did not the State Department know prior to the time this speech was made that Castro was a Communist?
Mr. BALL. Certainly, but from the point of view of trying to persuade the American states, Castro's own declaration that he was a Communist was the most effective thing that happened.
Senator THURMOND. That just proved what you already knew, did it not?
Mr. BALL. That is right.
Mr. BALL. Because had those allegations been made before, they would not have been as effective as suggesting the alien influence and the identification with the Soviet Union.
Senator THURMOND. Did you ever answer the question whether two American ambassadors warned the State Department about Castro and his communism, but, in spite of that, they assisted him into power?
Mr. BALL. I understand that that has been testified to before a congressional committee. I have no independent knowledge of it, but I am told that that testimony was given.
Senator THURMOND. That is accurate?
Mr. BALL. So far as I know, it is accurate, yes, but I have never made an independent,
EXPLANATION OF DELETION OF STATEMENT ON EVENTUALITY OF
HOSTILITIES WITH CUBA
Senator THURMOND. In a speech prepared for delivery January 16, 1960, the following statement was proposed, and was deleted by the State Department censor:
I ask you, is it not proper that in the event of hostilities within Fidel Castro's Cuba that Communist volunteers with modern weapons from the Soviet Union and Red China will be in action? Let us not forget Guatemala.
In explaining that deletion—by the way, that is Speech No. 79, if you have it there.
Mr. BALL. Yes.
Senator THURMOND. In explaining that deletion, the State Department said:
The suggestion that hostilities might occur with Cuba was directly contrary to existing U.S. policy, less than 2 weeks after President Eisenhower reaffirmed the U.S. policy of no reprisals against Cuba, and no intervention in Cuba's internal affairs. The remarks was inflammatory and could be used by Castro and the Communists to indicate U.S. aggressive intent against Cuba.
Now, there may have been some good reasons for deleting this particular remark, but the State Department has not given it, for the one they gave is obviously inapplicable. The speaker did not propose to speak of hostilities with Fidel Castro's Cuba, but proposed to address himself to hostilities within Castro's Cuba.
At the period of this speech underground activities against Castro and his government were active, and this is obviously to what the speaker was referring when he mentioned “in the event of hostilities within Fidel Castro's Cuba."
In the same thought the speaker reminded the audience of Guatemala, and in Guatemala there was an internal conflict, and the United States did not intervene.
Now, Mr. Secretary, would you explain just how the State Department inferred from this proposed statement that it was a suggestion that hostilities might occur with Cuba?
Mr. BALL. The statement is in the context of the Monroe Doctrine, which is the preceding sentence.
The Monroe Doctrine was a doctrine which was directed against foreign intervention, primarily from Europe.
The literal meaning of the words, as I read them, is that what was being talked about here was one of two things: either hostilities within Castro's Cuba, which meant an internal revolt, or fighting that might take place within Cuba as a result of some effort from outside.
I think that the reviewer obviously was being cautious at that time not to create the impression that there was any form of inter